Communities from the Ecuadorian Amazon may finally have what they need to hold Chevron-Texaco accountable for the billions of gallons of oil and toxic wastes dumped into their lands and water.
Under a proposed free trade agreement between the US and Colombia, mining companies could file suit for failure to approve an environmental permit or new legislation that would impose environmental or public health requirements on a mining project.
If the Guatemala government were to suspend operations at the Marlin Gold Mine, it would set an important precedent and allow for real dialogue with the community.
The case reflects a broader pattern of corporate impunity. As companies seek resources and markets in ever more remote corners of the world, over-burdened, under-resourced, often corrupt governments and courts, with limited jurisdiction, pose little threat.